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Southern Art

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

Sounds like a gallery, no? It’s actually Intercon’s new restaurant chef-headed by Oprah-famous Art Smith — a very warm, passionate person, who happened to be walking around and whom we were able to meet and have a quick conversation with.

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

Pickles, butter, and biscuits. Those tiny silver dollar sized biscuits are good. I could eat dozens of them. They’re crusty but the inside is soft and yeasty. The pickle jar had cauliflower, okra, radish, an unidentified veggie, onions, and carrots. The butter had a tiny bit of honey. Great appetizers and on the house, too.

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

But it said, “Chicken and Dumplings”!!! It was actually chicken soup with sheets of pasta. A generous portion, it was hearty but didn’t really blow me away. It was okay, but it lacked that oomph, for some reason.

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

Did anybody say fried chicken? It is a (glorified) southern joint after all. So what do we do? Get three orders. The Fried Chicken was good– it was tender, juicy and had flavor all the way through. I would have loved to have a crisp skin instead of a crispy crust that came off the entire chicken. It’s also quite pricey at $14. You get a smallish piece of breast with 3 tablespoons of unmashed potatoes and 3 leaves from a Brussels sprouts that doubled as gravy holders. But… you’re eating in a fancy hotel and the price reflects that.

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

Our server talked us into getting a side to share. The $5 Three Cheese Mac’ and Cheese came in a tiny container that was even smaller than a portion for one person. The presentation was good, it came in a cast iron ramekin. It had a good bread crumb topping that was toasted. It was quite flavorless, though, that I couldn’t taste any cheese, only cream. By the way, it came during the last couple of bites of our mains and when we asked our server about it, this is what she said, “Did you order it? If you did, then it’s coming.” Really? You talked us into getting it!!!

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

There’s this dessert table that greets you on your way in. Always a good trick. Feeling still hungry, we ordered the 12 Layer Red Velvet Cake to share. There are so many brilliant pastry chefs in Atlanta and whoever they got is a genius. It had thin layers of cake slathered with thin, uniformed layers of cream cheese frosting. It was moist and not too sweet. The frosting was creamy. It was really, really good. But don’t let the 12 Layer bit fool you. It literally consists of 9 regular-sized bites.

Southern Art (Chef Art Smith)

When we talked to Chef Art Smith, he asked us if we had ordered dessert. After we told him what we got, he said, “Oh, you must try the Banana Pudding… I’ll send one out.” Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you this is the BEST banana cream pie you will ever have in your entire life. No grandma can compare. None. This Banana Pudding had a thin caramelized crust, not graham and not made with flour. It’s more of ground nuts (I tasted almond) mixed with butter. The homemade pudding was divine, not too sweet, creamy and smooth. There were a generous amount of fresh bananas that were just of the perfect ripeness. Oh and it was topped with fresh Chantilly cream. OMG is an understatement. Like I said, the pastry chef is a genius.

The place has only been open a week so be prepared for weird service — not so much spotty — but really weird. On one instance, the server (with the straightest face) asks the three of us while holding three identical plates of fried chicken, “Fried chicken?” Hm. Kinda hard to figure out who got the fried chicken, huh? And then she clears the half-eaten mac n cheese which I was planning to play with, yet leaves the empty entree plates behind. It will improve, I know. If anything else, sit at the bar or the Au Pied de Cochon’s communal table which they decided to keep, and have a slice of their fantastic banana cream pie. The validated parking will be so worth the trip.

Props to my very good friend Thom Volarath for taking photos.

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar
3315 Peachtree Road NE Map
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 946-9070

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar on Urbanspoon

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katelyn // Oct 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Wow that banana cream pie sounds awesome. I’ve never actually seen chicken and dumplings on a menu but I’ve had it lots of times. Its usually pretty bland and it’s a cheap meal that’s often used to feed a large family. My mother-in-law, who grew up on a farm in rural Missouri makes it. (In the Carolinas they call it chicken and pastry.) I’ve never liked the stuff, but my husband loves it. I think more for the nostalgia factor more than anything.

  • 2 Casey // Oct 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

    A GREAT Chef can’t overcome a manager (Alain) who is a THIEF! Food quality and service is actually great but watch your credit cards folks! I know THREE people with different amounts on their credit card bills versus receipts they signed. NO notice to customer, no phone call, no anything. Manager “Alain” literally admits to adjusting and refuses to refund with justifications that they caught things that should have been added. Sounds fishy and I hope next victim of this practice call the police. They are literally leaving people with no way to get reimbursed for the difference between receipt amount and what they decide to hit them with after the poor customer leaves. Sad.

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